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In Walchandnagar,131 persons develop swelling on the neck

Health officials are baffled at an "unusual" infection that has gripped villagers at Walchandnagar in Indapur taluka of Pune district.

Written by Anuradha Mascarenhas | Pune |
February 5, 2009 1:33:13 am

Health officials are baffled at an “unusual” infection that has gripped villagers at Walchandnagar in Indapur taluka of Pune district. As many as 131 persons developed swelling on the neck (lymphadenitis) at the same time and that has left several curious about the nature of the disease,particularly as they are no symptoms like pain and fever.

Dr H H Chavan,district health officer told The Indian Express that he visited the spot along with experts from B J Medical College and Sassoon hospital. A team of doctors from departments of preventive and social medicine,paediatrics,microbiology,pathology and others were taken on January 30 to Indapur taluka which is three hours away from Pune.

“We collected swabs and blood samples and have submitted them to the BJMC and National Institute of Virology (NIV) to check whether it is a viral or bacterial infection,’’ Chavan said. What is intriguing is that the people developed the infection at the same time and hence the urgency to detect the infection. The team administered antibiotics and provided symptomatic treatment.

According to microbiologists,it is lymphadenitis –or the inflammation or enlargement of a lymph node. “It is common in children,” explains Dr Renu Bharadwaj,head of the Department of Microbiology,B J MC when contacted. Dr Smita Deshpande,senior microbiologist who visited the spot said that the patients did not have any symptoms.

According to Chavan,there were two children below five years who got the swelling on the neck and 27 children between the age group 5-15 years who got the similar infection. The rest were above 15 years. “There is a population of 8000 people living in the Walchandnagar area,”Chavan said. Meanwhile, NIV also received the samples on Wednesday and reports are now awaited.

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